Today we present another article in our non-fiction writing contest –Boatswain’s Mate from Florida
Greetings to all. I would like to write about my experience with water storage over the years. First and foremost, water is hands down the most important tangible item in a survival scenario. There are countless articles written on food storage, guns, bug out this, bug in that and multiple other survival gear and items.
The fact is, without water….your dead. The human body can only survive a few days without water, but can go a few weeks without food. Sure you can “bug out” and snare game, or kill a deer for food, but how are you going to wash your hands after you dress an animal, clean your cookware or wash down that game flavored goodness that you are probably not used to? So here is a short article on water basics covering procurement, storage, filtration and usage.
Procurement – There are many ways to find water and here are a few that are available in my area. First, the well. If you don’t have one, you should look getting one. We live in FL and have a high water table so running dry is not an issue. I have an antique cast iron hand pump for dispensing with spare leather cups on hand. The second source you can use is a nearby lake, stream or river. Note, these may be contaminated even more than already when SHTF so use care when filling containers.
Also a cheap way to find water is to use a rain water containment system from your roof. You may have shingles instead of a tin roof, but with filtration, this can be turned into potable water if needed. Finally, there are multiple other places to look, too many to list in fact. There should be good water in your hot water tank for a few days.
There may be a pool in your back yard, or you can set up tarps to collect dew overnight. These are just a few options, but remember to filter and tread your water before consumption! Investing in a wagon or wheelbarrow for transport is a must as you don’t want to lug around heavy containers for obvious reasons after it hits the fan.
Storage- I live in Florida, its hot most of the year. My wife and I live in an are that has a high sulfur content so the local municipalities over chlorinate the tap water in my own opinion. We decided to invest in a hot/cold office type water dispenser for drinking and cooking. We re-fill our ten 5 gallon jugs at the local china mart or publix for around $1.00 a container.
There are ways to purify it like a Berkey filter (which we own) but the cost of filters and convenience is more beneficial to us to get them re-filled when we go to the store. The above 50 gallons gives us quite a few days of fresh drinking water on hand at all times. Next we have three 7 gallon “reliance” brand containers with treated tap water using the Aquamire treatment liquid, these jugs (available at most sporting goods stores and China Mart)have a built in spigot for ease of dispensing. These jugs have a filter that snaps in to the side and is a secondary to the above mentioned Berkey Royal on hand.
Also we have eight 5 gallon USGI Scepter brand water jugs filled and treated on hands well as a minimum of ten cases of bottled water from Sam’s Club. This is our treated/ready to drink or use water storage, which fits nicely on one large heavy duty shelf in the garage. We also have a water BOB that hopefully I can fill up in the bath tub if enough warning is given. The final stage of storage is our 10,000 gallon Intex above ground 18’x52″ pool.
This will provide good water for about a week or two for washing/toilet flushing to our septic and general use until the chlorine runs out. Without the pump running, which can be ran off the generator for a few hrs a day with the freezer, the pool will turn into a pond quickly. Turning it into a pond is on my list and can be accomplished very easily if you have an abundance of tilapia in your area like we do and a small solar system to run a circulation pump.
Just a side note, the pool cost us around $700 shipped on Amazon and paid for itself in the summer heat, not to mention ten thousand gallons of water in the back yard! Finally, if you don’t have a well on your property by now, your behind in the game. Although our house is not hooked to the well directly, it has a hand pump which delivers an infinite amount of water via the hand pump I have installed. We chose smaller containers for ease of use versus the larger 55 gallon drums based on our personal preferences and needs.
The larger barrels and drums can be bought online in a kit that includes a cheap pump, but 55 gallons x 8lbs per gallon is too much to move, haul and take with us if we have to leave for whatever reason. There are countless article written on using milk jugs and soda bottles for storage, and if that’s all you can afford its better than nothing.
The storage of water in milk jugs inside the house can be messy if they do fail, and soda bottles do not stack well if you want a lot in one space, therefore I recommend the above mentioned USGI water jugs, or a similar container that hold a few gallons and can be stored and transported easily without feat of breaking or leaking.
Filtration – This is probably the most important step folks. You can have Lake Erie in your back yard, but without proper filtration, its only good to wash with. We have a Royal Berkey filter with an abundance of spare filters. God blessed us the ability to hold good jobs and we can afford this system. If you cannot, you can find detailed instructions online on how to make a similar system with five gallon buckets and charcoal filters.
We also have a few different water filter systems including a CataDyne hiking system and a few smaller charcoal filter bags and life straws. You must have redundancy in this area if you can only choose one area to do so with. Three different caliber handguns is great, but three different water filters can keep you alive to shoot them. Find a system that works for your needs, buy extra filters and spare parts and then find a secondary and last ditch effort to filter water, All those cans of freeze dried food you bought are useless without clean water!
Usage – Here is a short list of “what if” scenarios for water usage. What if you killed animal, how would you wash your hands after dressing it, and the meat without contaminating it without water? What if your electricity was off, how would you wash your clothes after sweating all day working in the garden? What if your water was off and your on a septic system, how would your toilet flush?
What if your neighbor was dehydrated and the least you could do is hook him up with a few gallons of water from your well to keep him and his or her family from perishing? Without water in a few days your dead, so keep it on hand. You need it to re-hydrate all those Mountain House cans, Cook those beans, and clean your cookware after a meal. There are countless scenarios that can impead your lifestyle without clean usable water and these are just a few. I hope this article helps weather you are new to prepping or a veteran. Take care and God bless!
Prizes For This Round (Ends December 21 2015) In Our Non Fiction Writing Contest Include…
- First place winner will receive – A gift certificate for $150 off of any bulk ammo at Lucky Gunner, three bottles of Fish Cillin – Ampicillin 250mg (100 Count) courtesy of Camping Survival, and a WonderMill Electric Grain Mill courtesy of Chef Brad Revolution.
- Second Place Winner will receive – 30 Day Food Storage All-in-One Pail courtesy of Augason Farms.com.
- Third place winner will receive – A copy of my book “31 Days to Survival” and a copy of “Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat“.
Please read the rules that are listed below BEFORE emailing me your entry… my email address can be found here – please include “writing contest entry” in the subject line.